Prof. Gautam's Group have been using the Candida rugosa (culture from DSM, Germany), for optimizing production of lipases. We have shown that vegetable oils given as a carbon source increases the yield of lipases. We have developed both quantitative and qualitative assays for lipases. We are currently studying a related organism Schizophyllum commune for production of lipases and oxidizing enzymes for bioremediation.
Bioleaching and Bioremediation
We have developed new analytical methods for following the oxidation of Fe3+ by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. A new solid matrix for growth of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans has been designed in the laboratory. The use of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans in the removal of iron and inorganic sulphur from lignite for cleaner burning is being investigated. The growth of Schizophyllum commune has been regulated by adding substrate to produce a complement of highly oxidizing enzymes. This is being used to degrade textile dyes and lignite. The isolation of two strains of Thiobacillus whichshow enhanced activity has also been isolated.
Computational Biology & Bioinformatics
Our group has been carrying molecular dynamics simulation of lipases and metal containing enzymes. We have built a 16 node cluster for doing parallel computation. In collaboration with Prof. Ramesh Anishetty, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, we have developed a knowledge-based method to understand protein folding. We have also developed a database for lipases and for infectious diseases in the Indian context (S. typhi, V. Cholerae, M. leprae). We have annotated the genomes and are currently mining it for finding out suitable drug candidates.